Patriots identity shift on defense?

Patriots identity shift on defense?
April 16, 2014, 10:00 am

The Patriots are reshaping their defense one player at a time.

They've added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner over this offseason at cornerbacks. A couple drafts ago they drafted Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones.

So what are they trying to become? Tom E. Curran, Mike Giardi, and Phil Perry discussed just that.

"They're trying to become a team that is not so reliant and tentative and accepting defensively as opposed to attacking," Curran said. "In 2007 and 2011 the Giants won Super Bowls because they were an attacking front. This past year, Seattle won the Super Bowl because they attack at the wide receiver position and disrupted timing. You have more players coming out of college who are quick release, grown up on seven-on-seven schemes, you have to be able to get up field and disrupt. You can't disrupt Peyton Manning with a pass rush because he gets it out too quick, you have to disrupt his receivers. The Patriots didn't do it in the AFC Championship, Seattle did in the Super Bowl- and there's your result."

Getting up in the offenses face early is certainly key, but Giardi says there's even more to it.

"I think also, more speed," Giardi said. "Guys [with] the ability to play in open space because that's the way offenses are trending now, spreading teams out four or five wide. Trying to do that spread offense. You have to have quicker guys that can defend in space. If they get challenged by a guard or a tackle, be able to take them on and not get embarrassed."

Perry is excited at what the secondary is going to be able to do to opposing wide receivers.

"Patriots are going to maul people at the line this year," Perry said. "Maul them. That's what Aqib Talib did really, really well last year. Alfonso Dennard does it really well. But they now have two of the best in the game in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. They're going to be disrupting routes all up and down the field. It's going to make it easier for the whole defense."